About the Neighbourhood
- Corso Italia, Toronto's other Little Italy, is lower-key then its more famous namesake and absent the seemingly growing list of martini bars that now shape College Street. The Italian community here is more focused on the food. Some of the best pizza in the city can be found at spots like the Big Ragu and Marcello's. Many feel you can't do better than La Paloma's gelato and anyone would be hard-pressed not to wander into Tre Mari Bakery after getting a whiff of the bread and pastries baked fresh daily within
- Davenport is a quiet centrally located neighbourhood that features modest single family houses, convenient public transit and a close proximity to downtown Toronto.
- The four blocks from Christie Street to Shaw Street, immediately south of Davenport Road, are part of the Frankel Lambert housing co-operative which contains private homes as well as City home rental units and senior citizen accommodations.
- Since the 1960's the Earlscourt neighbourhood has been recognized as the business and cultural centre of Toronto's Italian community. However in recent years the ethnic mix in this neighbourhood has begun to change as Canadians of West Indian, Portuguese, Greek, Latin American, and East Indian descent have begun moving into the area. Earlscourt is also being rediscovered by Anglo-Canadians from other parts of Toronto.
- Davenport's history can be traced back thousands of years, to the days when Davenport Road was used as an ancient foot path by the First Nations people seeking an overland route between the Humber and Don Rivers.
- Davenport Road continued to be an important passageway, for French Fur traders in the 1600's, and for the first European settlers who arrived in this area in the 1790's. One of these early settlers was Ensign John McGill, the original owner of 'Davenport' house, after whom this neighbourhood is named.
- Davenport was primarily a farming community until 1861, when the Northern Railway opened a line just south of here. The Railway attracted industry to this area, and a small village named Davenport emerged.
- Davenport amalgamated with the Village of West Toronto Junction in 1889. Then in 1909, Davenport was annexed by the City of Toronto. Residential development of this neighbourhood began shortly thereafter.
- The community is the eastern half of what was earlier known as Earlscourt. Earlscourt was originally settled by British immigrants in 1906, and was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1910. During the late 1950s a large wave of Italian immigrants, in addition to Italians from College Street, moved to Earlscourt and the surrounding area. Corso Italia has been a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in Toronto since 1984.
- The Earlscourt neighbourhood was settled in 1906 by labourers from the British Isles. In addition to their work at the local factories, Earlscourt families would toil day and night building meager tar and paper shacks, as temporary homes until enough money was saved to build a proper brick house.
- The spiritual leader of the Earlscourt community during these difficult times was the Reverend Peter Bryce. Each night, Bryce would trek through Earlscourt's muddy streets, aided only by a lantern and a pair of high boots. His visits were said to have offered hope and inspiration to many families.
- The quality of life in Earlscourt began to improve once it was annexed by the City of Toronto, in 1910.
- Davenport's rows of attached late Victorian style houses were built between 1900 and 1929. Some of these houses have been replaced with newer semi-detached homes.
- The Frankel Lambert townhouses, built in the early 1980's, include brick and wood exteriors, front porches, and private backyards. Some low and medium rise apartment buildings for seniors are located along Christie Street and Shaw Street.
- McMurrich Jr. School, 115 Winona Dr.,(416) 393-17 (Public School)
- Winona Drive Sr. School, 101 Winona Dr. (416) 393-1680 (Public School)
- Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 991 St. Clair Ave. West, (416) 393-1780 (Public High School)
- St. Bruno, 402 Melita Cres., (416) 393-5376 (Catholic School)
- Earlscourt Jr., 21 Ascot Ave. (416) 393-1380 (Public School)
- General Mercer Jr., 30 Turnberry Ave. (416) 393-1414 (Public School)
- Hughes Jr., 187 Cladonia Rd. (416) 393-1400 (Public School)
- Pope Paul, 270 Laughton Ave. (416) 393-5374 (Catholic School)
- Richard W. Scott, 151 Rosemount Ave. (416) 393-5317 (Catholic School)
- Brother Edmund Rice Secondary, 55 Pelham Ave. (416) 393-5523 (Catholic School)
- Davenport residents are located near the Wallace Emerson Community Centre at 1260 Dufferin Street. This multi purpose facility includes an indoor pool, a gymnasium, and four floodlit tennis courts that double as an artificial ice rink in the wintertime.
- Hillcrest Park, at the north-west corner of Davenport Road and Christie Street, offers a spectacular view of the city skyline and Lake Ontario. This picturesque park has four tennis courts, a wading pool, and a children's playground.
- Melita Park has a playground and a wading pool, while the South Park has swings, a play wall, and bocce courts.
- The Davenport Branch of the Toronto Public Library has programs for children and preschoolers.
- Earlscourt Park, located along St. Clair Avenue West, is one of Toronto's busiest parks. This thirty-six acre park includes four tennis courts, soccer fields, a baseball diamond and an outdoor ice rink.
- The Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre is located right next to Earlscourt Park. This modern facility boasts an indoor soccer field and probably the only indoor bocce courts in Canada. It also has a twenty-five meter swimming pool, a gymnasium, and a senior’s lounge.
- The Dufferin/St. Clair Library contains the largest collection of Italian books in the city's public library system. The St. Clair-Silverthorn Library reflects the area's diverse population by offering books in many languages, including Italian, Greek, and Punjabi.
- The south side of Davenport Road contains a small selection of convenience-type stores that are within walking distance of this neighbourhood.
- The shops spread out along Dupont Street include the Galleria Mall, a major grocery store, a hardware centre and a variety of restaurants.
- The Corso Italia Shopping district along St. Clair Avenue West has a lively Italian atmosphere that emanates from its open air cafes and bistros. Corso Italia has been dubbed ‘Hollywood North' because of the many major motion pictures that have been filmed on location here.
Cool Things in the Area
- The Tollkeepers Cottage was officially opened on July 1, 2008. It is open to the public on Saturdays and has an addition which accommodates school groups and other events. For more information on The Tollkeepers Cottage visit their website www.tollkeeperscottage.ca
- Corso Italia hosts several annual festivals, including the Corso Italia Toronto Fiesta in July
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) District: W03
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Communities: Corso Italia-Davenport (0390)